The Americans are coming! The Americans are coming!

Well, I guess it’s karma that after ignoring poor Jim Crace for all these many years, I’m now mentioning him in two blog posts in a row (though I still haven’t read HARVEST–bad, bad, bad). But of course, we must discuss the news that the Man Booker prize will be open to American authors next year—a move that Crace does not favor.

So, whaddaya think? Is it a good idea to include Americans and make it a truly international prize? Or, given the constraints we have on our own prizes like the NBA, should Booker remain closed to us Yanks?

I will say, it’s amusing to see so much hue and cry over the rules of a contest, much less who actually wins. And it seems like there’s a presupposition here that opening the doors to Americans means an American will win. Surely that’s possible, but can you really picture an American author beating a Brit on their home turf? To me, it seems more likely we’ll get a short-list nominee or two, and then a British author will gloriously be crowned the winner. In fact…maybe it’s all just a big plot to boost British literary self-worth at America’s expense?Very clever, Mr. Booker, very clever…

Okay, paranoid conspiracies aside, I’d love to know—should the USA be Man Bookers or not?

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